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How to Add Control Panel to “My Computer” in Windows 7 or Vista

Back in the Windows XP days, you could easily add Control Panel to My Computer with a simple checkbox in the folder view settings. Windows 7 and Vista don’t make this quite as easy, but there’s still a way to get it back.

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To make this tweak, we’ll be doing a quick registry hack, but there’s a downloadable version provided as well.

Manual Registry Tweak to Add Control Panel

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace

Now that you’re there, you’ll need to right-click and create a new key…

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If you want to add the regular Control Panel view, with the categories, you’ll need to use one GUID as the name of the key. If you want the icon view instead, you can use the other key. Here they are:

  • Category View:  {26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683}
  • Icon View: {21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}

Once you’re done, it should look like this:

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Now over in the Computer view, just hit the F5 key to refresh the panel, and you should see the new icon pop up in the list:

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Now when you click on the icon you’ll be taken to Control Panel. If you didn’t know how to change the view before, you can use the drop-down box on the right-hand side to switch between Category and icon view.

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Downloadable Registry Hack

Rather than deal with manual registry editing, you can simply download the file, extract it, and then either double-click on the AddCategoryControlPanel.reg to add the Category view icon, or AddIconControlPanel.reg to add the other icon. There’s an uninstall script provided for each.

Download ControlPanelMyComputer Registry Hack from howtogeek.com

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/5/10

Comments (9)

  1. Locutus

    This would be great with the “god mode” hack shared earlier this year! I tried using its GUID, but it never showed up. Can anyone think of another way?

  2. Fred

    I tried your Registry keys for putting a Control Panel into My Computer. It worked.

    The keys to remove it didn’t. The keys as given begin . . .

    -[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. . .

    Putting the “-” inside the square bracket works better. . .

    [-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. . .

    I’m sure this is just a typo and easily fixed.

    Thank-you for the wonderful site. I’ve found many of the hints useful. I wish you much success.

    Cheerios, Fred.

  3. The Geek

    @Fred

    Looks like I messed up the file. I’ll fix it. Thanks!

  4. calebstein

    @Locutus: Are you Locutus from dotTech and Cogizio?

  5. Locutus

    Why yes, @calebstein, I am. :D

  6. DUH

    The reg files don’t work in windows 7 home edition 64 bit, they just keep opening in notepad.

  7. Icecube

    Thanks! It works :)

  8. Abhishek

    Thanks dude………………Its so amazing……………..I’m trying to show control panel to windows 7 for a long …………………and beacuse of you it became very easy for me………….
    So…………..Thank you a lot……………………………..

    From : Abhishek Bhattacharya………………………….

    Have a nice Day……………..

  9. abhishek

    Me gustaría que me informes paso a paso como lo hiciste, ya que no entiendo mucho de ésto, y estoy sin el control de volumen. y no me funciona el micrófono., gracias.

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